Black and white portraits. I like them because they aren't confusing or cluttered.

I still find myself shooting in black and white. Actually setting the camera to black and white so I can preview and review it on the monitor.  With the D810 I just turn the camera profile to monochrome and shoot large Jpegs. Same with the EM-5.2. Both look pretty good out of camera with the contrast turned up and a "green" filter selected in the tweaking menus. Once in a while I shoot in the largest, meatiest raw format and use DXO FilmPack to make a conversion from the color files. When I do that I also get sidetracked into trying the color slide film emulations as well.

I love the look with got shooting in black and white with medium format film but I think we're in the ballpark now with the availability of high resolution digital files.

The image above was done on film. 


Wolfgang Lonien said...

It's beautiful Kirk, and you are of course also a master of lighting. You know that I've got all of your books, and this is what I would recommend for your readers as well - if you don't have these, then get them while you can.

And yes, lately I prefer black & white myself. Trying to take at least one b&w portrait a day.

Duane Pandorf said...

I too have my camera setup to shoot RAW + JPG where the JPG is configured at B&W. I prefer seeing the B&W image on the LCD to review the histogram along with the shadow/highlights results.

Once on the computer I can quickly decide if I want to process the RAW file as a B&W by reviewing the two files side by side. Of course, having the JPG already B&W you can easily use it to upload, etc. However, the RAW file usually produces a better final file for me.

Anonymous said...

Lovely portrait.

I'm a big fan of black and white pictures of people. In a peculiar way I think it gives a less distracting and cleaner impression of how they are, rather than how they look.

Or something.


Carlo Santin said...

I go down that rabbit hole with DxO on a regular basis, end up with 15 different versions of the same shot and can't decide which one I like most. I've gotten much better at processing digital b/w with Adobe Camera Raw and PS6, so now I often use DxO as a grain simulator only after processing in PS6.

Digital of course will never look like film, and that's not a criticism of either medium. Digital resolution is there but the rendering or "look" will never be...and that's a good thing. I shoot both film and digital and I like both, for different reasons and applications.

Wonderful portrait btw. I was getting worried, you stopped posting portraits on this blog. I like reading about your adventures as a pro photographer, lighting insights always, but when you blog about cameras...well I skip those articles now. I started coming here a few years ago for the portraits, it's good to see them coming back. I'd love to see some of your more recent work in addition to the wonderful film images.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on using vintage lenses on digital cameras when shooting B&W? To me, the images look more film-like when using a vintage lens. The problem is I have no personal experience shooting B&W film so I figure it must be my imagination.

Antonio Ramirez said...

Absolutely beautiful portrait. One of my favorites from your portfolio.